Future bass, future R&B, future trap. New genres that promise the world some kind of glimpse into what the future will look like in dance music keep popping up. It’s a strange notion because one would argue that these are the current waves of pop; what was once “future” is our “now.” So while we comb through the sea of newer producers who follow in the footsteps of this aesthetic – artists like Slushii come to mind – it’s up to the selectors to find the sounds which not just encompass the genre, but expand upon it.
Tim Gunter, an artist whose remix of Drake’s “Trophies” made some waves, comes back around with his take on Annabel Jones‘ “Happy.” Whereas the original track centered around Jones’ femme-electro image, complete with Robyn-esque interludes, Gunter taps into a more emotional element underlying her sing-songy vocals. This gives him currency to shift the tone into something moreÂ uplifting and cinematic. He is absolutely using the sameÂ toolsÂ usedÂ by the likes of AOBeats and Flume in their proverbial tool shed, but he stands out: the fat’s been trimmed down into a streamlined beast of an edit. By using only the necessities and not getting carried away, his structure is concise. This lets the more beautiful moments glimmer like they’re supposed to. It showcases the melancholy underpinned by Jones and allows it to grow as Gunter builds a neat frame for it via strings, sawing synths, haunting piano, and trill percussion.
This not only takes the current state of pop electronica to another level, but it expands on the structure of those “future” subgenres to further cement them as “present.” They’re completely in the moment.